Monday 20 June 2016

Wholecloth Essential

One of the things that I thought was important to mention in the construction of a Wholecloth was the marking and the washing...

I used a blue water soluble marker (and made an amazing mess in some areas) to get the main designs onto the white background. As I went along I sprayed the Wholecloth with water to get rid of some of the lines as I find them quite distracting when stitching.

Towards the end, most of the marks were gone, however for my last few photo shoots, I had a few pockets of re-appearing blue marks on the front and on the back. For the purpose of taking photos I managed to shift them, so that it looked as if they had all gone, however I knew that I  had just managed to spray the blue marks into the wadding and was aware that they would eventually re-surface.

It is winter here and not the ideal time to wash quilts, however I felt uncomfortable leaving this as I have seen in the past how these blue spots can turn slightly brown over time. With a whitish Wholecloth, not a good idea. So, on the weekend we had a bit of sun and my quilt took the plunge
Always makes me nervous, however given the amount of marker in this quilt, this had to be done.
Kringe!!...not a pretty picture! In order to get the marker completely out, you do have to totally submerge the quilt, rinse it several times, and at the end you are left with this crumbled up mess.

After that I had it outside on a flat surface for a while to get it to a stage where it was reasonably damp and now it is nicely blocked, taking up some space in the kitchen area. This will take a few days to dry in this climate and I will just have to make sure that the cats stay off it.
I did spent some time on this, gently stretching it into shape...this is as good as it gets! I am a bit short in the width by about half an inch. I am pretty sure you could probably stretch it even further, but I decided to leave it as it makes perfect sense to me that it is more compacted on the crosswise grain and the quilt was not entirely square before the wash.

So while the temptation is there to just spray the blue water soluble markers off I would urge others to wash their quilts after finishing...just not worth the hassle after. I had a few brownish marks in one of my pieces recently and I thought that this probably happened as I had just sprayed my designs and then left it sitting on the sewing table where it would have gotten a fair bit of sun in the day...that was enough to set the marker.  



  1. You're so right! I've heard if you don't wash them off soon, it's even more difficult to get rid of them. Love your wholecloth!!

  2. How brave Karin. With such an heirloom piece you must have had your heart in your mouth. But as you say it had to be done. Useful info about the blue marks becoming brown over time, I must do some soaking as well! I see I've gone anonymous again - it's Jenny (the lilac cat)


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